To define the limits of European cultural spaces requires a pragmatic and empirical approach, founded on a comparative overview of the circulations of symbolic goods, of the agents involved in the processes of diffusion and mediatization of these goods, and of their modes of transmission or valorization. In this essay, I illustrate the effects of changing conditions on the specific field of 19th-century opera, one of the first international forms of cultural practice in Europe. I then consider the origins and causes of unequal cultural circulations in other fields, notably the presence or absence of mediators in these processes of circulation.



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